While our great range of iPads and Android tablets are perfect for checking in on Facebook on the sofa or accessing your music and videos on the go, they also offer amazing opportunities for extending your knowledge set or gaining new skills. There are numerous apps and websites out there dedicated to helping you master new subjects, and often they are inexpensive or completely free!
Many top universities, including Oxford, Cambridge, Stanford and Harvard, now share a lot of their course material online for free. This means you can be taught by the top minds in the world while relaxing in your living room. Here’s a quick roundup of some of the best places to go to use your tablet to expand your mind.
If you’ve taken advantage of our reduced cost iPads, then it’s well worth exploring the world’s biggest collections of online education that is now available to you – Apple’s iTune U. It has over 800,000 free lectures from educational institutions from 70 different countries, not to mention videos, books and other resources on thousands of subjects from Algebra to Zoology. You can also share your knowledge by setting up your own courses – it really is a one-stop shop for education.
The Khan Academy website offers you access to a global classroom where you can learn everything from the basics up to specialised knowledge on topics like maths, science, computer programming, history, art history, economics and more. Everything on Khan Academy is geared towards encouraging you to learn: the apps offer recommended courses and a personalised learning dashboard, and when you start a course you are given badges and achievements as you progress. There is also specialised content available from the likes of NASA, The Museum of Modern Art, The California Academy of Sciences and MIT
The Coursera website offers over 1,400 free online courses from top academic institutions. The courses let you learn to your own schedule with short video lessons and interactive quizzes. You can also get valuable feedback on your work via peer-graded assessments where learners can evaluate each other’s work. And there are a lot of peers to review your work out there, with over 13 million people signed up to the site!
With 4 million students already learning new skills on Udemy and over 25,000 courses to choose from, Udemy is a great place to inexpensively master new skills. The video courses include subjects as diverse as photography, computing languages and yoga. Udemy offers everything from free short tutorials, to complete master courses, and it’s a great way to get skills that could really change your life. You can even synchronise your learning across many devices. This means you can start a course at home on your tablet, and continue from where you left off on your phone on a long commute. This truly is expert learning on the go.
On the Academic Earth website you can find a curated collection of free US college and university courses from the likes of Harvard, MiT and Stanford (to name but a few!). It was launched 6 years ago with the premise that everyone deserves access to a world-class education. If you aren’t sure where to start they offer playlists of their most interesting courses, and also provide though-provoking videos to stimulate your curiosity.
Ted lectures are famous the world over for their eye-opening insights and inspiring educational content. With a tag line like ‘Ideas worth spreading’ you can expect riveting talks from some of the world’s most fascinating people. The Android and Apple apps offer playlists curated by topics you are interested in. They also let you search the entire Ted library and download the talks to watch offline wherever you are. With new content added almost every day, you are bound to find something to amaze you.